Pakistan calls Srinagar Lok Sabha bypolls 'sham', condemns 'brutal killing' of 8 civilians

Islamabad: Pakistan on Sunday strongly condemned the "brutal killing" of eight people in Kashmir in firing by Indian security forces as violence marred the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat by-poll, which it dubbed as a "sham".

The Pakistani Foreign Office issued a statement after eight people were killed in firing by Indian security forces as unprecedented election-day violence marred the by-poll for Srinagar Lok Sabha seat which saw the voter turnout plunge to an all-time low of 7.14 percent.

Rampaging mobs took to streets in scores of places across the Lok Sabha constituency straddling Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal districts, perpetrating wanton violence and arson, even setting ablaze a polling station and attempting to set on fire two others, amid a boycott called by the separatists.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

"Mr Sartaj Aziz strongly condemned the brutal killing of 8 youths, including a 12th grade student" by Indian forces today when they opened fire on "peaceful demonstrators" protesting against the "sham Indian parliamentary elections", the Foreign Office said in a statement.

The Foreign Office said that the "abysmally low" voter turnout, which it claimed of being below six percent, was a "tangible indication" that the Hurriyat leadership and the people of Jammu and Kashmir have categorically rejected the "sham elections".

The Foreign Office said the elections cannot be an alternative to the right to self-determination promised to the people of Jammu and Kashmir under the numerous UN Security Council resolutions.

The statement alleged that India "continues to deny fundamental human rights" to the people of Kashmir.

The Foreign Office stated that despite "Indian state terrorism and repression", the steadfast resolve displayed by the Kashmiris sends a clear message to India that they remain undeterred in their goal for realisation of the right to self determination.

"We call upon the international community to urge India to put an immediate end to the ongoing bloodshed of innocent Kashmiris and behave as a responsible member of the international community by honouring its commitments to hold a transparent, free and fair plebiscite under the auspices of the UN in accordance with the UNSC resolutions to ascertain the wishes of the Kashmiri people," the statement said.

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Updated Date: Apr 10, 2017 08:51:24 IST

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